Citation: Elliot. "Baseline Erased and Replaced: An Experience with Salvia divinorum (exp20506)". Erowid.org. Nov 7, 2005. erowid.org/exp/20506
Sit down. Living room. Red pillow behind me. I place myself so that should I loose neuromuscular control my head will land squarely on that pillow. One tightly packed bowl of dried leaves, one red butane lighter. To be consumed from a 'Sherlock' style handheld water-pipe. Prior to this encounter I had taken one large hit of the dried leaves from the aforementioned pipe; a dose I felt (from studying the experiences of others presented here) would not produce any debilitating effects. In my head now are the memories of that single hit. Let me take you there -
Setting - the garage. One large hit. I know at the time that I probably did not get the material hot enough, as prescribed by my fellow travelers. Hold the hit for as long as I can. Exhale. Leaning against the side of the parked car. I wait, for a few seconds, maybe more. Nothing. That's okay though, I didn't expect much from just one hit. Push weight forward to stand up and walk inside. Something different. I am still mentally in the same place, same reality, no distortion nor ego-loss. Sensation is entirely physical. Body feels heavy, uncoordinated. Feet weigh 20 lbs, arms hang low at sides, firmly entrenched in a deep and committed relationship with gravity. I am still able to move perfectly well, but it takes one and half times more effort than normal. My previous concerns that I would be one of the people who aren't affected, or affected that strongly, by Salvia are instantly dismayed. This precious herb gently conveys to me that I have no scale nor methodology with which to measure it's power.
Flash forward. Back in the living room. Quiet moment of thought, meditation, and prayer. Check the time. 4:24. Chuckling, I believe it to be oddly appropriate had I not arrived at this little point in time and space 4 minutes too late. Oh well, no time for symbolic reflection now, I have a trip to take, I have people to meet. First hit. Hold it, hold it, hold it… Exhale. Ahhhh… Two or three short gasps for fresh air. The body must be appeased although the mind knows it is best to take another hit as soon as possible. Second hit, trying to keep it hotter this time. Not as big as the first. Note to self - at some point in time I shall require an instrument of consumption which allows for more cooling of the smoke. It is not mean nor harsh, just hot, and I can't hold it as long as I would like. Slight disorientation, although it should be noted that at the time I was not able to perceive how disorientated I was, or was to become. Exhale. Third hit. Keep it as hot as possible. I focus on the white hot glow of the leaves in front of and below my face. It's hot this time, really fucking hot. I try to hold it and manage to do so successfully for short measure of time, but the heat of the smoke burns and my body disobeys my will, releasing the smoke and gasping for the cool fresh air it so desires. Bowl is empty. The last moments of a long draw off the pipe contain the image of the leaves simply disappearing, disintegrating before my eyes.
I lay down. I feel it. I hear a thought in my head. Not from the drug though, this is one of my normal thoughts. I hear the voice of R although I know not what she is saying to me. It is the essence of her voice that I hear, not the words that voice brings forth. Some time passes although I cannot recall how much. It did not seem like much though. Slightly disappointed I decide to reload the bowl and take another hit. Several seconds are spent in contemplation over whether this would be a prudent idea. I have no desire to harm myself, not by too big a dose mind you, but by the dangers of attempting any physical movement at this point. I quickly conclude that I should be able to repack the bowl although when I stand up and walk I find that it requires much from me.
In retrospect I observe a funny thing about this sacrament: It did not distort nor expand my reality as other psychoactive substances have, it merely changed reality. The effect was so subtle that I spent much time thinking that I was experiencing nothing more than a body-high. I now know that this substance is not like the others; it does not take me by force. I must meet it halfway. Mushrooms will take me on a trip whether I want to go or not. I will be removed from my baseline, but my baseline will still be visible in the distance, off on a distant horizon. Salvia does not move me one inch from baseline, it works by changing baseline effectively leaving me with no point of reference. I can understand now the words of others when they say that they had no idea the smoked something. The memory of taking a substance is put aside and is not accessible. There is no way to be familiar with this idea except through experience, but what I did not understand is that almost everything I had used to define myself, my reality, was a firm and solid point in that baseline. When the baseline is erased and replaced, all those anchor points go along with it. All that is left is that part that can only be described as 'I am'.
But I digress. Bowl packed, I return to my sitting place on the floor, attempting to reposition myself in roughly the same place relative to the red pillow. One more big hit. It is just like #3. Hot, hot, hot. I can't hold it long at all. I lay back and close my eyes. At this time, or perhaps before this time, I am not sure, I remember hearing my heartbeat in a different way. It sounded as if my consciousness had been placed into the body of another person. I hear what a heartbeat would sound like if it were not my heart. The voice in my thoughts earlier becomes larger, grows, multiplies, divides. It changes into a million-billion other voices, but it is still all one voice. Tiny, shrill, but not unpleasant. I tell the voice(s) that this feels absolutely wonderful, divine. I thank it, the plant and the consciousness behind it with all the love I have. The voices are begging me now, 'Come play with us. Come play with us. Come on, come play with us.' They are light and free and happy. They are the voices of magical forest creatures from a children's fairy tale. A million small forest sprites calling out to me. They want me to join.
There is a large fold which starts from underneath me and begins to envelope me. At the same time the magical presence of a vine winds its way through me, navigating the byways of my nervous system, my blood vessels, my very being. The fold is about to close up on me and then it is on my right side, slightly behind me. It changes to a hill. A hill in a deep and rich green forest. All is covered in moss and leaves and the sprites are all around me; all talking to me.
I should mention at this point that I saw none of this. This was not visual. The perception of all this was entirely relayed to me by my 6th sense.
My god it feels so divine, so wonderful.
Time spent thinking. There is something else. This is something, and there is something else. That something else is what is really going on.
Salvia loosens her grip slightly.
Where am I?
When am I?
What was my mission? My purpose?
How did I get here?
Is this a dream?
A distraction from the de facto baseline. A telephone rings and suddenly in a flash I remember. I am in my living room, lying on the floor, conducted an experiment on the nature of my existence.
Right. Ok. That's right. That's where I am. Now I can relax again.
Salvia is a mixture of all the psychoactives I have had the pleasure to sample. It reminds me, gently suggests to me, and maybe even tries to fool me into thinking it is marijuana. After I contacted my default baseline a new feeling sets in. A desire to move. A sudden energy. I want to go outside. Have a smoke. See the world around me. Now it feels like tripping, like the tenacious and energetic grip of a good mushroom experience. Everything becomes something new, something to be explored and the excitement grows in quantum phases to levels I had not expected. My god this is wonderful.
Later the feelings of bliss and enjoyment are like a good MDMA feeling.
Reading the S-A-L-V-I-A scale, I think I had a level 3 or 'L' experience.
Things I am glad I did before I tried Salvia:
1) Read as many trip reports as I could. This is no way prepared me for the actual experience, but it did make me realize the power of this substance and the absolute imperativeness of respecting Salvia.
2) Had previous experiences with psychoactives. Again this did nothing to prepare for the Salvia experience, but it did teach me to feel comfortable with altered states. I can see where one who has not taken the time to be comfortable with their psyche might panic.
A blissful disorientation continued for a couple hours, slowly clearing itself. I felt noticeably more social and at ease afterwards.
That's all for now. Enjoy!
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